Australian Zoo Staff Save Koalas, Beat Back Alligators In Dramatic Flash Floods Video

Zookeepers carried drenched koalas to safety and used a broom to stop alligators from escaping their lagoon in dramatic footage filmed as flash floods hit New South Wales in Australia on Friday.

A torrential downpour brought a temporary reprieve from the searing heat that has been exacerbated by the bushfires burning across the state and country since September.

But the rain turned pathways into rivers at the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby, some 70 kilometres north of Sydney, forcing the park’s closure for the day as staff rescued animals and cleaned up the damage.

Check out the footage here:

In a Facebook post, the park said the “incredibly heavy” yet “much needed” rainfall had resulted in floods like “we haven’t seen for over 15 years!”

The facility had been “overwhelmed” with offers of help, it wrote in another post. “The team and I have been working in fire affected areas these last months and now flood……. What’s next?!!!” it said, noting that all animals are safe and accounted for.

Park director Tim Faulkner revealed how “just last week, we were having daily meetings to discuss the imminent threat of bushfires” only five miles away.

“The contrast between the current bushfire crisis and this sudden flooding is striking,” he told SBS. “But we are well-aware that a huge part of Australia is still burning, and millions of animals are still under threat. The rain doesn’t replace the millions of hectares of habitat that has been lost over the last few months.”

The park re-opened Saturday with a message of thanks to its “hard working and passionate staff who have not stopped until our park looked as good as new.”

Twitter Takes Off Over Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Giving Up Use Of HRH Titles

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will no longer use their “royal highness” titles, among other new developments announced Saturday, and people on Twitter have a lot of feelings about the latest news. 

Queen Elizabeth II released a statement detailing an official agreement surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to step back as senior members of the royal family.

In addition to giving up use of titles “His Royal Highness” and “Her Royal Highness,” Meghan and Harry will no longer receive public funds for royal duties. They also plan to repay the British public for renovations done on their official residence, Frogmore Cottage, which will continue to be their family home in the United Kingdom, a statement from Buckingham Palace read.

Harry and Meghan announced last week that they plan to split their time between the UK and North America. 

Many Twitter users applauded the Saturday announcement, sending well wishes to the pair on their new journey:

Bravo #HarryandMeghan! 👏

Go forth and be happy!

Now the haters should please shut up!

– No longer using HRH title
– Will pay back cost of refurbishing cottage

Are you happy now? Doubt they’ll have more petty & petulant nonsense to say!

— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@SholaMos1) January 18, 2020

And they even said, “I’ll give you the money back cause you aren’t about to hold that shit over my head. I’m gone!!!!”

— Truth hurts (@Jasamgurlie) January 18, 2020

“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last” –

— Stephanie! (@qsteph) January 18, 2020

Harry and Meghan have won – their freedom. The British Monarchy has lost – big time.

— Peter Hunt (@_PeterHunt) January 18, 2020

Much respect to Harry and Meghan for not only renouncing their HRH titles but also, crucially, refunding millions of quids of taxpayer money. Looks like they are actually walking the walk. Now maybe leave them the fuck alone?

— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) January 18, 2020


— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) January 18, 2020

I think my obsession with the Harry & Meghan discourse is how many ppl do not understand the concept of prioritizing yr mental health & the mental health of yr loved ones. So many ppl who claim they are free or brave and still can’t grasp this concept

— Kaitlyn Greenidge (@surlybassey) January 18, 2020

Other Twitter users noted that Meghan has long been the target of racist coverage in British tabloid press. The queen acknowledged the “intense scrutiny” Harry and Meghan have faced in her statement Saturday, adding that she supports their wish “for a more independent life.”

She added that she was “particularly proud” of Meghan for how quickly she “became one of the family.”

Royals are meant to turn up looking nice, smile, look interested, pose for pics & make small talk. #HarryandMeghan did all of these things perfectly. They were relentlessly covered with a toxic shower of shit by the press. It’s sad but who wouldn’t want to fuck off? Good luck.

— Katy Brand (@KatyFBrand) January 18, 2020

I couldn’t freaking love Harry & Meghan any more if I tried. Meghan put up with so much bullshit and racism from literally everywhere and they’re putting their family first.

— Melinda has no🥄 only🔪 (@MelindaEdits) January 18, 2020

Honestly Harry deserves every bit of happiness he can get. I really hope he and Meghan can be allowed to live their lives free of racism, scrutiny and vitriol.

— Liz Jarvis (@LizJarvisUK) January 18, 2020

Some people on Twitter slammed television personality and staunch Meghan critic Piers Morgan, who accused the Duchess of Sussex of getting “Harry to ditch his family.”

“The only thing Meghan’s done quickly to the Royal Family is break them up,” Morgan wrote in a tweet referencing the queen’s statement. 

British politician Wes Streeting called Morgan’s remarks “shameful on so many levels.”

“The treatment of Meghan at the hands of sections of the media hasn’t just been ‘negative’ or ‘bad’ – it has been downright racist,” he continued. “That’s what should bring shame on our country, not so-called ‘Megxit’.”

This is shameful on so many levels. The treatment of Meghan at the hands of sections of the media hasn’t just been ‘negative’ or ‘bad’ – it has been downright racist. That’s what should bring shame on our country, not so-called ‘Megxit’.

— Wes Streeting MP (@wesstreeting) January 18, 2020

For heaven’s sake @piersmorgan 🙄 Even the Queen’s inclusion of warm words for #MeghanMarkle triggers you🤨

Your petty dislike of Meghan is seriously boring now👎

No offense but you really need to get over yourself #JustSayin

LEAVE. MEGHAN. ALONE#RoyalFamily#HarryandMeghan

— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@SholaMos1) January 18, 2020

Beginning in the spring of 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer formally represent the queen, but will “continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty,” the Buckingham Palace statement read. 

Community invited to farewell Jill Emberson at memorial service

City of Newcastle is inviting community to attend a public memorial service for Jill Emberson on Thursday 23 January at Newcastle City Hall. The 10am service will celebrate the life of the prominent journalist, Pink Meets Teal founder and 2019 Newcastle Citizen of the Year, who passed in December after a long battle with ovarian cancer. Jill was a fearless campaigner for ovarian cancer research and awareness and played a pivotal role in the Federal Government’s landmark $20 million research … Continue reading “Community invited to farewell Jill Emberson at memorial service”

Magic of theatre celebrated on big screen at Civic Playhouse

City of Newcastle is bringing the magic of cinema back to the city centre with the Civic Playhouse screening a selection of the most acclaimed productions from London’s National Theatre. Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said locals can watch incredible international performances in all their theatrical glory thanks to an initiative known as National Theatre Live … Continue reading “Magic of theatre celebrated on big screen at Civic Playhouse”


The NSW Government will coordinate the clean-up of residential and commercial properties destroyed by bush fires this season, at no cost to residents, so they can start rebuilding and communities can begin healing. Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro said work is already underway to clear insured and uninsured properties. “The … Continue reading “NSW GOVERNMENT COORDINATES BUSH FIRE CLEAN-UP”


NSW BUSHFIRE RELATED UPDATES PAYMENTS NOW AVAILABLE FOR RFS AND SES VOLUNTEERS WHO HAVE SPENT WEEKS KEEPING COMMUNITIES SAFE NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) and NSW State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers who have spent more than ten days fighting fires and helping with the recovery effort can apply for loss of income payments from today. … Continue reading “NSW GOVERNMENT WEEKLY UPDATE – 18 JANUARY 2020”

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